Katarina Steding Ehrenborg

Senior Lecturer, Docent, Associate ProfessorFormer name: Katarina EhrenborgFormer name: Katarina Steding

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



During exercise, an elite athlete can pump up to 40 liters of blood per minute. At a heart rate of 190, the athletes heart must fill and empty 210 ml of blood in 315 milliseconds. A normal healthy subject can fill approximately 120 ml of blood in the same time, yielding an output of 23 liters per minute. How is it possible for the athletes heart to fill and empty such large volumes of blood?

Since 2006 I’ve been using Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging to understand how the heart functions. I use advanced imaging methods such as three dimensional, time resolved flow measurements to study intra-cardiac blood flow and exercise-CMR where the test subject performs physical exercise on an ergometer cycle while we collect images of the heart.

I seek to understand the normal and super-normal pumping mechanisms of the heart in order to understand why the failing heart does not function properly. My research therefore spans from the physiologically enlarged heart with augmented function to the normal heart to the pathologically enlarged heart with impaired function.

My study populations consist of normal healthy volunteers, elite athletes who have developed a balanced physiological hypertrophy over a long period of time as an adaptation volume loading, and pregnant women who develop a balanced physiological hypertrophy very rapidly as pregnancy causes a high volume load on the heart.


In collaboration with Benjamin D. Levine at Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, USA and NASA I study cardiac function after long-duration missions onboard the International Space Station.


Future projects includes interventional exercise studies on patients with heart failure where outcome will be evaluated using Cardiac MRI as well as MR Spectroscopy to study skeletal muscle metabolism.


Recent research outputs

Alvaro Sepúlveda-Martínez, Katarina Steding-Ehrenborg, Mérida Rodríguez-López, Ellen Ostenfeld, Brenda Valenzuela-Alcaráz, Einar Heiberg, Eduard Gratacós, Susanna Prat-González, Fátima Crispi & Erik Hedström, 2021, In: Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging. 41, 3, p. 262-270

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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